'It can be agonising in many ways' 

Carol Cattley had cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) following the death of her husband. She found it to be a painful experience at times, but it gave her the confidence to continue helping herself.

"I had CBT in the millennium year, a couple of years after my husband died. My husband’s death hit me really badly, because we had been together for so long. I had suffered from depression as a teenager and was feeling extremely down again.

"One of the things about CBT is that it's a very emotional experience, because as you work through it, you relive painful experiences. It can be agonising in many ways.

"I had eight or so treatments by the time I finished the course, and I had definitely shaken a lot of things out of myself. It's given me the confidence to be able to help myself.

"The CBT worked for me because I understood what was happening. It was a clearly defined exercise that was obviously leading somewhere, and the truth is that deliberately raking everything up achieved something.

"The psychiatrist gave me a book called Mind over Mood with exercises that you can do on your own. It’s a very good book for depression.

"I think CBT is a vital treatment as an alternative to antidepressants.

"It's such a different experience. You feel as if you're in control of your destiny. It’s a sensible, rational thing you can do to help yourself."

Page last reviewed: 15/07/2016

Next review due: 15/07/2019